The Anesthesia Quality Institute
The Anesthesia Quality Institute’s (AQI) mission is to develop and maintain an ongoing registry of anesthesia cases and outcomes to help anesthesiologists assess and improve patient care. The goal of AQI is to include data from all practicing anesthesiologists and all practice locations in the United States.
How the AQI works
AQI is a non-profit corporation, created to collect electronic anesthesia case data from practice groups, hospitals, and information technology vendors.
Collected data will include:
- Practice and hospital data (e.g. facility size, teaching status, number of anesthesia professionals)
- Patient data (e.g. age, medical history, current medications/allergies)
- Anesthesia procedure data (e.g. type of anesthesia given, medications used, vital signs)
- Outcomes of the anesthesia and surgery (e.g. complications, recovery time, patient satisfaction).
The AQI will aggregate this data and report it to the contributing practices, allowing them to benchmark their care relative to peer groups and other hospitals. AQI data will be used for research into anesthesia risk factors, comparative effectiveness, and identification of best practices, and used by ASA to develop quality measures, practice standards and guidelines.
AQI data will be of value to practicing anesthesiologists for:
- Personal benchmarking
- Quality reporting
- Hospital credentialing
- Maintenance of licensure
- Maintenance of certification
- Clinical research
The AQI will be of value to the broader healthcare community by:
- Defining benchmarks for anesthesia practice
- Disseminating best practices throughout the profession
- Fostering comparative effectiveness research in perioperative care, critical care and pain management
- Creating and disseminating standard definitions for information technology related to anesthesia and surgery (AQI definitions are based on US and international standards for healthcare IT)
- Convening partnerships with industry and universities for research studies
- Encouraging the adoption of healthcare information technology and data reporting
Established by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the AQI represents the next step in the specialty’s quality improvement mission. Although operating as a separate 501(c)(3) entity, AQI’s work will complement and enhance the efforts of ASA and other organizations such as the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research, the National Surgical Quality Improvement Project and the Surgical Quality Alliance. For example, data from the AQI will be an additional resource for the Closed Claims Project, which collects outcomes from closed legal cases filed against anesthesiologists in order to review safety processes and improve the quality of care. Publications from the Closed Claims Project have contributed to a 50% decrease in malpractice costs for anesthesiologists over the past 25 years and reduced anesthesia mortality rates from two deaths per 10,000 anesthetics administered to one death per 200,000-300,000 anesthetics administered.1 The addition of AQI data will power a greater understanding of the numbers of patients at risk for serious complications, and will enable focused prevention and mitigation strategies.
The AQI ultimately exists to improve patient care. Collecting and analyzing data from anesthesiology and pain practices across the country will provide the data needed to understand best practices, and will create a network for dissemination. In the end, the AQI will save lives and improve the quality of care.
For more information please visit the AQI website at www.aqihq.org.